Sukna: Army court to review charge against Rath

The Army court, which had awarded a sentence of two-year loss of seniority to Lt Gen PK Rath in the Sukna land scam, will reassemble here on Monday.

Shillong: The Army court, which had awarded
a sentence of two-year loss of seniority to Lt Gen PK Rath in
the Sukna land scam, will reassemble here on Monday to look
afresh at the charges leveled against him.

The Eastern Army Commander, the convening authority in
the 2008 land scam, has directed the General Court Martial
(GCM) to reconvene, asking it to reconsider the first charge
intent to defraud of which Rath was acquitted, Army sources said to a news agency.

During the proceedings, the prosecution is likely to
raise some overlooked facts regarding the charge against
Rath, the former 33 Corps Commander.

The prosecution, to be represented by counsel Raghavendra
Jha, will also seek enhancement of the sentence, the sources
said.

The charges are regarding issue of No-objection
certificate to private builders for construction of an
educational institution adjacent to the Sukna military base.

The jury, headed by Presiding Officer I J Singh, will
comprise six Lieutenant-Generals instead of seven as one of
them, Lt Gen JK Srivastava, retired as Director-General of
Remount and Veterinary Corp last month.

Rath was facing seven charges, but the GCM, which
delivered its judgement on January 22 last, found him guilty
on three counts and four other charges including that of
`intent to defraud` were dropped.

Rath, former Deputy Chief of Army Staff-designate, was
found guilty of conveying NoC in the capacity of 33 Corps
Commander to a private realtor for construction of an
educational institutions on a piece of land adjacent to the
Sukna military station in West Bengal.

The other two charges for which he was found guilty are
signing of an MoU with Geetanjali Trust for construction of
the educational institute and for not informing his superiors
in the Eastern Command about the proposed agreement.

Rath had been designated as Deputy Chief of Army Staff,
but when the scandal came to light in 2008, his appointment
was cancelled and since then has been attached to different
army formations for disciplinary proceedings.

Court martial proceedings against the then Military
Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash in the case is going on in
Guwahati.

PTI

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